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Senegal - Country Profile

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Status and Trends of Biodiversity


At present, Senegal’s wild fauna can only be found in national parks and reserves. The Niokolo Koba National Park alone holds 330 species of birds, 80 species of mammals, 60 species of fish, 36 species of reptiles, and 2 species of amphibians. In total, 10% of the country’s territory is currently under protection. The Senegal River Delta, another highly interesting site with respect to biodiversity, is the only ecosystem affected by invasive alien species issues. In addition, mangroves, niayes, and the Djoudj area are of particular interest because of their important biodiversity, ecological role and fragility. Senegal comprises 2 500 species of flower plants. Insects account for the greatest number of animals with 2 000 species, followed by mollusks, which, combined with fish species, amount to more than 1000 species. This illustrates the significance of a marine biodiversity that remains largely unknown. In Senegal, some species benefit from strict protection, such as elephants, sea turtles, Derby élans, and bamboo.

National Biodiversity Strategy Action Plan

Major features of National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan

The strategy comprises four major objectives, which are (1) the conservation of biodiversity in high density sites, (2) the integration of the conservation of biodiversity in programmes and activities related to production, (3) the fair sharing of roles, responsibilities and benefits in regard to biodiversity management, and (4) the education and awareness raising of all stakeholders concerning the importance of biodiversity and the need to conserve its components. Furthermore, the NBSAP lists 9 types of priority biodiversity sites, the first priority being national parks and reserves, followed by the marine and coastal ecosystems, and the inland water ecosystems. Other priority sites include mangroves and many types of forests, notably sacred forests and woods. Profound causes of loss of biodiversity are also listed, such as bush fires and habitat fragmentation, as well as the lack of cooperation in the management of park border areas, and lack of knowledge regarding the status of reserves. Actions to be implemented are derived from those lists.

Implementation of the Convention

Measures Taken to Achieve the 2010 Target

The Strategic document for the Reduction of Poverty comprises several actions that are relevant to the achievement of the 2010 target, such as the improvement of rural and urban situations, as well as food security. The Third National Report mentions the need to: diversify agriculture resources; combat bush fires, desertification and soil degradation; preserve and adequately manage forests; combat pollution and invasive species; develop ecotourism; and share roles, responsibilities and benefits. By 2010, the country intends to protect 12% of its territory. Through the creation of more parks and reserves, Senegal is committed to, with respect to the indigenous and local knowledge, give special attention to areas of significance in regard to biodiversity, especially high-density sites. Through the reintroduction of species, the protection of threatened species, and the promotion of useful wild species, the country intends to halt the decline of loss of diversity in specific populations.

Initiatives in Protected Areas

Senegal is committed to increasing from 10 to 12 the percentage of protected areas in the country by 2010. The Third National Report mentions that Senegal is considering adding two marine protected areas every year. In order to have better management of protected areas, the peripheral zones are integrated into socio-economic planning programmes regarding indigenous populations. Residents living near protected areas struggle with a high level of poverty and this constitutes a delicate and complex issue in regard to the management of protected areas.

Initiatives for Article 8(j)

The transfer of responsibility to local levels has increased the population’s sense of responsibility regarding environmental management. The creation of community parks and reserves and the establishment of a legal and institutional framework encouraging the full expression of local competences constitute examples of intervention strategies that support local governance. The gender approach is progressively becoming an essential component in biodiversity management. Moreover, women are currently acting as important partners in the implementation of ecotourism activities and ecosystem management relating to certain community parks.

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  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme